A Brief History Of The Killings Of Unarmed African Americans

Innocent people have been targeted and wrongfully killed many times in history. Recently there has been an increase in the killings of unarmed African Americans causing widespread public outcry. Although some of them have just come into public knowledge, historical records show that they have been around for a while. Statistics show that being young and black means that you are 4.5 times more likely to die at the hands of police officers or other security organs.

The deaths of Eric Garner on the month of July in 2014 at Staten Island and that of Michael Brown on the month of August the same year, are probably what brought public and media attention to the killing of young African Americans. Mr. Garner died after a police officer put him in a chokehold-prohibited by the law. As he choked, he repeated he could not breathe eleven times as life left his body. Although medical examiners ruled his death a homicide, the police officers involved were not indicted.

Eighteen year old Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson in August 2014 just a month apart from Eric Garners. The circumstance surrounding his death are not clear since witness testimonies differ on whether his hands were up or whether he was moving towards the officers. What is clear is that Brown was not armed but yet he was brutally shot to his death at close range.

Michael brown and Eric Garner are not the only African American people who died innocently in 2014. A 34 year old man Rumain Robinson was killed in Arizona when police officer mistook his bottle of pills for a weapon. In November the same year Akai Gurley was reported shot in a dark stairwell in unclear circumstances. The same year also saw the deaths of McKenzie Cochran in Michigan, Dante Parker in California and Jordan Baker from Houston all who were not armed.

In 2013 other African Americans were killed even though they were unarmed. Miriam Carey, a 34 year old was found shot by police after a high-speed chase. She and her young daughter were not armed, but was shot at least five times and died on the spot. Jonathan Ferrell was also shot after he brutally was apprehended by the police and the office responsible was indicted for voluntary man slaughter.

Among the African American deaths of 2012 are Reynaldo Cuevas and Tamon Robinson. Tamon Robinson was killed as he fled into a building when he was confronted by police about stealing paving stones. He was not armed at the time. Reynaldo Cuevas was shot by police as he fled a robbery incident at his workplace.

There are numerous other cases of the shooting and killing of unarmed African American people. In 2010, for example, Danroy Henry and Derrick Jones were shot. Reginald Doucedt in 2011 was shot in 2011 while Ramarley Graham was also shot and killed in 2012. A young man known as Sean Bell was also shot and killed in his car a day before his wedding even though he was not armed.

The year 2000 saw the shooting and killing of Prince Jones, unarmed and in his car. Later the police officer said that he thought Jones was someone else. Amadou Diallo in 1999 was shot as he removed his wallet when it was mistaken for a gun. There are many other cases where African Americans die in the hands of security organs.

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